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English Discussion Club: Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet 
Royal Albert Hall, London 
 
ex. 1 Express your opinion on the following quotations 
  • "The physical language of the body is so much more powerful than words." -Bill Irwin 
  • "It takes an athlete to dance, but it takes an artist to be a dancer." -Shanna LaFleur 
  • "I don't want dancers who want to dance, I want dancers who need to dance" -George Balanchine 
 
ex. 2 Read the text and study the vocabulary 
score – партитура, музыка для фильма или спектакля 
to swarm across - толпиться 
riotous mayhem – мятежная сумматоха, волнения 
to scramble for safety – бороться за безопасность 
implacable – неумолимый, безжалостный 
to glide around – скользить вокруг 
to marshal – выстраивать (войска) 
inevitable - неизбежный 
eloquent poetry – красноречивая поэзия 
ardent support – ярая поддержка
unflagging - неослабевающий
mob scene – массовая сцена, массовка
 
Derek Deane is a choreographer who knows how to fill a stage. In terms of pure scale, his arena-style Romeo and Juliet for English National Ballet is one of the few productions capable of matching the force of its Prokofiev score. More than 60 dancers swarm across the Albert Hall stage to make a Verona market crowd. The sword fights have a riotous mayhem that sends mothers and children scrambling for safety. At the Capulet ball, the massed ranks of dancers look more like an army than a family, an implacable force protecting Juliet's honour. In the tomb, 24 monks glide around her body to frame it in a candlelit circle.
 
This is classical ballet as hugely entertaining spectacle, yet the arena format is one that is hugely problematic for the form. And clever as Deane is at marshalling large groups of dancers, he fails badly on the small, intimate moments that are key to telling this particular story.
 
Partly it's an issue of logistics: with an audience seated on all sides of the stage, the choreography is sometimes, inevitably, facing the wrong way. When Juliet keys herself up to drink the sleeping potion, some of us are only seeing her back. But more fundamentally, Deane lacks the talent to take his choreography from routine storytelling to eloquent poetry. He's working with an excellent cast: Tamara Rojo is a Juliet of grandstanding intensity, given ardent support by Carlos Acosta; Yonah Acosta's Mercutio is an unflaggingly charming force of nature, and Luke Heydon a delicately paternal Friar Lawrence. But it's an odd Romeo and Juliet whose highpoints are the mob scenes, rather than the love duets.

english-discussion-club-ballet-001

Comprehension Exercises
Answer the questions
  1. Does the author criticize or praise the choreographer?
  2. What are the merits and drawbacks of this "Romeo and Juliet"?
  3. What does the author mean by "an issue of logistics"? Do you think it's essential?
  4. Do you think a brilliant cast is enough to produce a ballet masterpiece?
  5. Why do we consider dance a form of art?
  6. Do you like ballet?
  7. How important is dancing in your culture?
  8. Do you think being a professional dancer would be a good job? What is hard about it? Why do people decide to become dancers?
  9. Is ballet still popular in your opinion? Why?
 
Watch the video “The Price Dancers Pay to Pursue Their Dream” and retell it.
 
Vocabulary Exercises
 
english-discussion-club-ballet-001ex. 1 Practice the pronunciation of these words
choreographer, arena, Romeo and Juliet, ballet, riotous, implacable, honour, spectacle, hugely, inevitably, eloquent poetry, cast, routine, ardent, delicately, charming, duet
 
ex. 2 Explain the following words
duet
to match the score
to be key to something
issue
cast
inevitable
stage
mob scene
 
ex. 3 Make your own sentences with the following words
few
scale
to be capable of something
to fail on something
issue
cast
lack
entertaining
 
ex. 4 Finish the following sentences
On a wider scale there are...
There are few people who...
Arena format is...
This dancer is capable of...
The choreography must match...
If you fail on...
In modern ballet the issue is...
These dancers lack...
 
Grammar
Modal Verbs - Revision
 
ex. 1 Make these sentences in the future form and in the past form.
1. We can help you. 2. I can do this work myself. 3. She can translate the article into Russian. 4. I can buy a dictionary for you. 5. He can go to the library with you. 6. They can read English books.
 
ex. 2 Use the following word combinations to compose sentences expressing: order or prohibition.
Example: to do something exactly the way you are told => order: You must do it exactly…
                 not to get one’s feet wet => prohibition: You mustn’t get your feet wet.
 
1. not to do anything in a hurry;
2. not to breathe a word about something;
3. to give a faithful account of something;
4. to be reasonable about something;
5. not to cry and bother people;
6. not to worry about something;
7. to take every precaution;
8. not to drink with your meals.
 
ex. 3 Make these sentences in the future form and in the past form.
1. I must do my exercises. 2. He must be at the Institute at 9 o'clock. 3. You must learn the story by heart. 4. We must walk fast to get to the station in time. 5. She must do it at once. 6. I must wait for him.
 
ex. 4 Rewrite the following sentences using must and may with Indefinite or Perfect Infinitive.
Example: Probably he left his bag at home. — He must have left his bag at home; It is possible that he knows her address. — He may know her address.
 
1 It is possible that he will return in May. 2. He probably lost his key on his way home. 3. It is possible that he left his note-book at his office. 4. The text is probably very difficult as he cannot translate it without a dictionary. 5. It is possible that it will rain to-morrow. 6. It is possible that he was a good singer once, but he can't sing now at all. 7. They probably came home very late as I was asleep. 8. You probably walked very fast if you reached the station so quickly. 9. I cannot find my fountain pen. I probably left it in the lecture-hall. 10. He is probably a very good student because his paper is excellent 11. Perhaps he is in the library now. 12 He probably left Moscow because he hasn't come to the lecture. 13. Probably he knows English very well because there are no mistakes in his composition.
 
ex. 5 Translate into English using may, might, must, can and could.
1. Может быть, он и вернулся в Москву, но я его еще не видел. 2. Он очень бледен. Он, вероятно, очень устал. 3. Эта статья, должно быть, была написана в начале войны. 4. Он сказал мне, что я могу приходить сюда в любое время. 5.   Он, возможно, приедет завтра, так как он, должно быть, получил нашу телеграмму. 6. Я думаю, что это может случиться очень скоро. 7. Эта книга, может быть» показалась ему скучной, но он, должно быть, прочел ее очень внимательно, так как он помнит все подробности. 8. Можно мне курить здесь? 9. Товары, должно быть, были упакованы очень небрежно. 10. Он сказал, что он, возможно, вернется в мае. 11. Им, вероятно, сообщили об этом несколько дней тому назад. 12. Она, должно быть, была очень рада встретиться с вами. 13. Он, должно быть, очень образованный человек. 14. Я не мог найти этот журнал в библиотеке. 15. Я выберу несколько книг для вас, чтобы вы прочли их во время ваших каникул. 16. Мы смогли перевезти все товары в течение десяти дней. 17. Мы могли бы сделать этот перевод тщательнее, если бы у нас было больше времени. К сожалению, у нас было очень мало времени. 18. Если бы все меры были приняты, этого могло бы не произойти. 19. Он сказал, что не может придти завтра. 20. Я должен написать ему об этом немедленно. 21. Не может быть, чтобы он уехал из Москвы, не сказав мне об этом. 22. Неужели он сказал это? Он, должно быть, был очень сердит на вас.